From the Heart: Discovering Magic in Merida

I call Merida a “magical” city. In reality, this vibrant capital of the of the Mexican state of Yucatan is known as the “White City,” because of its buildings made of white stone and its cleanliness. I quickly fell in love with both, along with the rich Mayan culture and history; colonial heritage; and wonderful people.

I discovered Merida as many have, through HGTV’s International House Hunters. It’s no wonder HGTV has taped so many segments there. It does not take long to lose your heart to the cosmopolitan charm and Mayan magic of this true urban oasis.

After researching Merida over the years and becoming more intrigued, my partner and I finally planned a visit in 2018. We were looking for an affordable, safe, colorful place to retire to part time. It also had to have excellent affordable healthcare for pre-existing conditions.

The Merida International airport is beautiful and a breeze to navigate. The suburban sights leaving the airport looked reminiscent of many parts of South Florida. The deeper we got into Centro, the historic heart of the city where we were staying, we began to realize we were far from home.

The look on my partner’s face said, “I’m glad you talked me into coming — just don’t ask me to come again.” He’d been nervous about traveling to Mexico. He was not impressed with the crumbling buildings, buckled sidewalk, or rickety busses whizzing by.

There were moments I too wondere